By Sam Sifton in the New York Times
Link to Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles recipe.
GV comments: Talk about delayed gratification. How many years had I been searching for a recipe that could transport me back to the sesame noodles I used to eat all the time at the little corner Chinese restaurant in Chatham NJ (called Bean Curd)? Evidently over 25 years! But Sam Sifton from the New York Times came through. Yes, yes, this is the one. Maybe the key is the Chinese sesame paste, which is made of darkly roasted sesame seeds (rather than the raw seeds that Middle Eastern tahini is made from). Maybe it's the balance of ginger and garlic. I found the sesame paste at the first Asian market I visited, so you may have the same kind of luck (or you can get it online). If you like old-fashioned take-out sesame noodles, you will love this.
Recipe notes: I increase the sugar by a half-Tablespoon to get my perfect sauce. I don't use egg noodles, since they're not vegan. I've used non-egg Chinese noodles, thin spaghetti, and I think I'll try soba noodles next. I've found it's important to drain the noodles well and even dump them onto a towel or a couple paper towels to make sure they're dry. Otherwise the water clinging to the pasta turns the sauce watery.
Timing: 10-15 minutes from start to finish
Affordability: You'll need to make an initial investment in the sesame paste, peanut butter, rice vinegar, but they last for many batches.
Nutrition: If the noodles aren't whole grain, they they and the oil are processed
Gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta